Application of Path Analysis and Structural Equation Modeling in Nutrition and Dietetics
This monograph is part of the statistics series of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, intended to describe path analysis, structural equation modeling, and related methods in nutrition research. Theories about nutritional concepts are usually more complicated than the relationship between two variables. Think of all the variables and concepts associated with the theory of how coronary heart disease develops in individuals. What can be done statistically to assess the relationships and interrelationships between a larger number of concepts and variables? The purpose of this manuscript is to describe and explain statistical procedures that can be used to do this kind of assessment including multiple regression, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, path analysis, and structural equation modeling. It will describe the purposes of these procedures and address a variety of concepts related to the procedures. Although this manuscript will not describe in detail the actual mathematics and statistical analysis supporting the procedures, it will provide citations that cover those methods and list the most common software packages used to conduct these analyses.